Audiences worldwide will get a chance to witness Kaija Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin” on Saturday as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s hugely popular Live in HD series.
The performance is the third in this season’s series. The famed company kicked off its series with Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” and followed it up with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”
“L’Amour de Loin” is set in 12th century Tripoli and follows a long-distance love affair between a troubadour and a Countess. The opera stars Eric Owens in the role of the Jaufre and Susanna Phillips takes on the role of his lover Clemence. The opera, which is just the second ever premiere of an opera by a female composer, also features Susanna Malkki, the fourth woman to conduct in the company’s history.
The opera premiered in Salzburg back in 2000 and has become a popular work around the world. It made its Met Opera on Dec. 1, 2016 to rave reviews. “The bass-baritone Eric Owens, in one of his finest Met roles, makes an achingly vulnerable Jaufré. The earthy, weighty qualities of his voice convey the troubadour’s world-weary sadness,” wrote New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini before noting that “soprano Susanna Phillips looks and sounds radiant as Clémence.”
“Saariaho has a fine feel for the fluid dynamics of music. She conjures currents, surf, spray, and geysers, not with picturesque clichés but with a ceaseless, phosphorescent sea of sound,” wrote Justin Davidson of Vulture in his review.
There was also tremendous praise for Malkki and the direction of Robert LePage, who had come under fire for his previous work at the Met – a production of Wagner’s iconic Der Ring des Nibelungen.
The performance kicks off at 12:55 PM EST and will be viewed at hundreds of theaters worldwide. The performance will also be broadcast via radio.
The Metropolitan Opera kicked off its Live in HD series during the 2006-07 season with a performance of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” on Dec. 30, 2006. The company saw revenues for the series soar from $5 million to over $60 million in 2013-14 as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
To find out a theater near you that is featuring “L’Amour de Loin,” click here.